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Romeo and Juliet Coursework outline

Examine act 1 scene 3, and act 3 scene 5 lines 59-235, of

Romeo and Juliet. What do you think of Juliets parents and
her nurse? Do you agree with the way they treat Juliet?

The assessment objectives A02 Reading (En2)

Think about what you are reading, and use quotes when you are writing
about it.
Make sure that you use quotes from each scene.
Write about how Shakespeare uses language, how is it different to the
language we are used to? Does this make the play easier or harder to

Initial thoughts on the characters in the play




Lady Capulet



Romeo and Juliet _Plot outline

IN THE STREETS OF VERONA another brawl breaks out between the servants of the
feuding noble families of Capulet and Montague. Benvolio, a Montague, tries to stop the fighting,
but is himself embroiled when the rash Capulet, Tybalt, arrives on the scene. After citizens
outraged by the constant violence beat back the warring factions, Prince Escalus, the ruler of
Verona, attempts to prevent any further conflicts between the families by decreeing death for
any individual who disturbs the peace in the future.
Romeo, the son of Montague, runs into his cousin Benvolio, who had earlier seen Romeo
moping in a grove of sycamores. After some prodding by Benvolio, Romeo confides that he is in
love with Rosaline, a woman who does not return his affections. Benvolio counsels him to forget
this woman and find another, more beautiful one, but Romeo remains despondent.
Meanwhile, Paris, a kinsman of the Prince, seeks Juliets hand in marriage. Her father
Capulet, though happy at the match, asks Paris to wait two years, since Juliet is not yet even
fourteen. Capulet dispatches a servant with a list of people to invite to a masquerade and feast he
traditionally holds. He invites Paris to the feast, hoping that Paris will begin to win Juliets heart.
Romeo and Benvolio, still discussing Rosaline, encounter the Capulet servant bearing the
list of invitations. Benvolio suggests that they attend, since that will allow Romeo to compare his
beloved to other beautiful women of Verona. Romeo agrees to go with Benvolio to the feast, but
only because Rosaline, whose name he reads on the list, will be there.
In Capulets household, young Juliet talks with her mother, Lady Capulet, and her nurse
about the possibility of marrying Paris. Juliet has not yet considered marriage, but agrees to look
at Paris during the feast to see if she thinks she could fall in love with him.
The feast begins. A melancholy Romeo follows Benvolio and their witty friend Mercutio to
Capulets house. Once inside, Romeo sees Juliet from a distance and instantly falls in love with her;
he forgets about Rosaline completely. As Romeo watches Juliet, entranced, a young Capulet,
Tybalt, recognizes him, and is enraged that a Montague would sneak into a Capulet feast. He
prepares to attack, but Capulet holds him back. Soon, Romeo speaks to Juliet, and the two
experience a profound attraction. They kiss, not even knowing each others names. When he finds
out from Juliets nurse that she is the daughter of Capulethis familys enemyhe becomes
distraught. When Juliet learns that the young man she has just kissed is the son of Montague, she
grows equally upset.
As Mercutio and Benvolio leave the Capulet estate, Romeo leaps over the orchard wall into
the garden, unable to leave Juliet behind. From his hiding place, he sees Juliet in a window above
the orchard and hears her speak his name. He calls out to her, and they exchange vows of love.
Romeo hurries to see his friend and confessor Friar Lawrence, who, though shocked at the
sudden turn of Romeos heart, agrees to marry the young lovers in secret since he sees in their
love the possibility of ending the age-old feud between Capulet and Montague. The following day,
Romeo and Juliet meet at Friar Lawrences cell and are married. The Nurse, who is privy to the
secret, procures a ladder, which Romeo will use to climb into Juliets window for their wedding
The next day, Benvolio and Mercutio encounter TybaltJuliets cousinwho, still enraged
that Romeo attended Capulets feast, has challenged Romeo to a duel. Romeo appears. Now
Tybalts kinsman by marriage, Romeo begs the Capulet to hold off the duel until he understands
why Romeo does not want to fight. Disgusted with this plea for peace, Mercutio says that he will
fight Tybalt himself. The two begin to duel. Romeo tries to stop them by leaping between the

-3combatants. Tybalt stabs Mercutio under Romeos arm, and Mercutio dies. Romeo, in a rage, kills
Tybalt. Romeo flees from the scene. Soon after, the Prince declares him forever banished from
Verona for his crime. Friar Lawrence arranges for Romeo to spend his wedding night with Juliet
before he has to leave for Mantua the following morning.
In her room, Juliet awaits the arrival of her new husband. The Nurse enters, and, after
some confusion, tells Juliet that Romeo has killed Tybalt. Distraught, Juliet suddenly finds
herself married to a man who has killed her kinsman. But she resettles herself, and realizes that
her duty belongs with her love: to Romeo.
Romeo sneaks into Juliets room that night, and at last they consummate their marriage
and their love. Morning comes, and the lovers bid farewell, unsure when they will see each other
again. Juliet learns that her father, affected by the recent events, now intends for her to marry
Paris in just three days. Unsure of how to proceedunable to reveal to her parents that she is
married to Romeo, but unwilling to marry Paris now that she is Romeos wifeJuliet asks her
Nurse for advice. She counsels Juliet to proceed as if Romeo were dead and to marry Paris, who is
a better match anyway. Disgusted with the Nurses disloyalty, Juliet disregards her advice and
hurries to Friar Lawrence. He concocts a plan to reunite Juliet with Romeo in Mantua. The night
before her wedding to Paris, Juliet must drink a potion that will make her appear to be dead.
After she is laid to rest in the familys crypt, the Friar and Romeo will secretly retrieve her, and
she will be free to live with Romeo, away from their parents feuding.
Juliet returns home to discover the wedding has been moved ahead one day, and she is to
be married tomorrow. That night, Juliet drinks the potion, and the Nurse discovers her,
apparently dead, the next morning. The Capulets grieve, and Juliet is entombed according to plan.
But Friar Lawrences message explaining the plan to Romeo never reaches Mantua. Its bearer,
Friar John, gets confined to a quarantined house. Romeo hears only that Juliet is dead.
Romeo learns only of Juliets death and decides to kill himself rather than live without her.
He buys a vial of poison from a reluctant Apothecary, then speeds back to Verona to take his own
life at Juliets tomb. Outside the Capulet crypt, Romeo comes upon Paris, who is scattering
flowers on Juliets grave. They fight, and Romeo kills Paris. He enters the tomb, sees Juliets
inanimate body, drinks the poison, and dies by her side. Just then, Friar Lawrence enters and
realizes that Romeo has killed Paris and himself. At the same time, Juliet awakes. Friar Lawrence
hears the coming of the watch. When Juliet refuses to leave with him, he flees alone. Juliet sees
her beloved Romeo and realizes he has killed himself with poison. She kisses his poisoned lips, and
when that does not kill her, buries his dagger in her chest, falling dead upon his body.
The watch arrives, followed closely by the
Prince, the Capulets, and Montague. Montague declares
that Lady Montague has died of grief over Romeos
exile. Seeing their childrens bodies, Capulet and
Montague agree to end their long-standing feud and to
raise gold statues of their children side-by-side in a
newly peaceful Verona.


Listed below are 17 events that happen in the play Romeo and Juliet your task is to
read the plot synopsis and list the events in the correct order.
A. Juliet wakes up and finds Romeos dead body. She stabs herself and dies.
B. Romeo arranges the wedding with Friar Lawrence.
C. Romeo and Juliet are married by Friar Lawrence.
D. Friar Lawrence gives Juliet a potion, which will make her appear to be dead for 42 hours.
The Friar says that once she is laid in the family tomb, he will send word to Romeo to come
and take her away to Mantua.
E. At the party Romeo meets Juliet, the Capulets 13 year old daughter. They dance together
and fall in love not knowing each others identity.
F. Juliet sends her nurse to meet Romeo. She returns with the message that they will be
married later that day by Friar Lawrence.
G. Romeo buys poison and gallops back to Verona. He finds Juliet lying in the tomb as if dead.
He cannot live without her. He drinks the poison and dies.
H. Romeo and Juliet are married. That same morning Romeos friend Mercutio, fights with
Juliets cousin Tybalt, and is killed by him.

The message from Friar Lawrence is delayed. Romeo hears from another source that
Juliet is dead.

J. Two of the richest and most important families in Verona, the Montagues and Capulets,
are engaged in a deadly feud. No-one can remember how it started, but it involves
everyone, from the servants to the most distant relatives.
K. Because Tybalt has killed Mercutio; Romeo fights and kills Tybalt. Romeo is banished from
Verona on pain of death.

Romeo and Juliet meet secretly at the Capulets orchard after the party. Romeo proposes
to Juliet. He says that he will make arrangements for the wedding the next day.

M. They both part at the party; they then discover each others identity.
N. In the meantime, Juliets parents have arranged for her to marry Count Paris, a relative of
Prince Escales, the ruler of Verona.
O. Juliets parents order her to prepare for her wedding to Paris in three days time. In
despair she asks Friar Lawrence for help.

One day Romeo Montague finds out that there is to be a masked ball that evening at the
Capulets house. He decides to gatecrash the party in the hope of seeing the girl he loves
from a distance Rosaline.

-5Q. Juliet swallows the potion that Friar has given her. Her parents think she is dead and she
is placed in the family tomb.

Life in Elizabethan England Marriage and Family1

With parental permission, boys are legal to marry at 14, girls at 12, though it is not
recommended so early. One comes of age at 21.
It is generally considered foolish to marry for love. Everyone
wants (and expects) to have children.
Children are the property of their parents, and give them
the respect a servant gives his master. Or else. Wives are
the property of their husbands.
Some women more independent than others. However, every woman expects to be
married, and to depend on her male relatives throughout her life.
Summarise the main points about the age of marriage in Elizabethan England

How does this differ to the age of marriage today?

What are your personal thoughts and feelings about the role of children and wives?

In your own words explain

why it was that the children

The age of marriage

One common belief about the Renaissance is that children,

especially girls, married young. In some noble houses
marriages were indeed contracted at a young age, for
reasons of property and family alliance, but in fact the
average age of marriage was quite old--in the middle
Marriage statistics indicate that the mean marriage age
for the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras was higher than
many people realize. Data taken from birthdates of women
and marriage The marriage age of men was probably the
same or a bit older than that of women. (In 1619, it was
about 23 for women, 26 for men.) The age of consent was


of noble families might marry

at an early age.

How do you think an Elizabethan

audience might view the
marriage of Romeo and Juliet?

How would a contemporary

audience feel about the

-612 for a girl, 14 for a boy, but for most children puberty came two or three years later
than it does today.

Shakespeare, at the age of eighteen, married Anne Hathaway.

The reason for late marriage among labourers and the middle class was simple enough: it
took a long time for a couple to acquire enough belongings to set up housekeeping, even in
a room of their parents' home. Young love, however romantic, had to be kept in check if
the two lovers were to survive in a world where subsistence earnings would not purchase
a roof over their heads and put food on the table. Children of noble birth ran a great risk
if they tried to marry without the approval of their parents, since they would be left
without resources.

Youth and marriage3

The most startling thing about Romeo and Juliet for a modern audience
is the extreme youth--and extreme passion--of the young lovers. But
would the audience in Shakespeare's day have reacted in the same way?
The average age of marriage in the period was actually higher than
today, though in noble households children were sometimes married
younger for reasons of the estate.

How do you feel about Romeo and Juliet getting married at such a young
Juliets parents want her to marry Count Paris, is this fair? Why / why not?

What would you have done if you were Juliet?

What is the role of parents today??

Romeo and Juliet - Not a long

engagement . . .
They are so obviously attracted to each other
that Friar Lawrence will not leave them alone
until they are married. Although sex before


How is this similar to the role of

parents in Elizabethan times?


-7marriage was tolerated in some circumstances, marriage was the only honourable
way the two could consummate their love.

Examine act 1 scene 3, and act 3 scene 5 lines 59-235, of Romeo and
Juliet. What do you think of Juliets parents and her nurse? Do you agree
with the way they treat Juliet?
Introduction - Putting the scenes in context
For your introduction write about the following points
1. Briefly write what the play is about
2. Write about how marriage and the age of marriage are different to
3. Write about what, you think, parents should be like.

-8Romeo and Juliet Act 1 scene 3





Questions to help understand the text of act 1 scene iii

Lady Capulet tells the nurse to leave her and Juliet alone while they talk, then she changes her mind
and calls the nurse back again immediately. Why do you think she does this?

Find a quote that shows Juliets age?

What is a wet nurse?

How do we know that nurse breastfed Juliet? What does this show about the relationship that Nurse
has with Juliet?

When Lady Capulet tells the nurse to shut up (hold thy peace ) the nurse ignores her and carries on
talking. When Juliet asks her to sop talking she does Peace, I have done. What does this show about Lady
Capulet? Juliet? And the nurse?

What is the main purpose of Lady Capulets talk with her daughter?

Why are Lady Capulets proposals of marriage for her (very young) daughter acceptable? Would it be
acceptable nowadays? (think about the conventions of marriage in Elizabethan times)

How is Count Paris described?

How does Juliet speak to her mother? Is there any indication that she is a rebellious child? Or does
she do what her mother wants?


Use these answers to help you draft section 2 of your coursework essay.

What do you think of Juliets mother in this scene?

Does Juliet get on with her mother?
How does her mother treat her?
Do you agree with what Juliets mother says and does? Do you agree
that she has Juliets interests at heart?
How does Juliets relationship with her mother compare with Juliets
relationship with the nurse?

In your essay remember to

use quotes taken from the
original Shakespeare text.
You can use your own
words to explain what a
quote means in modern day

Romeo and Juliet Act 3 scene 5 lines 64-235

Juliet has met, fell in love with and married Romeo (without her parents knowledge or consent). A fight between the Montagues and Capulets let to
Romeos best friend Mercutio being killed. In retaliation Romeo has killed Tybalt, Juliets cousin. He has been banished from Verona. In the
beginning of this scene Romeo and Juliet have spent their wedding night together. Romeo has just left for Mantua.






Questions on act 3 scene 5

What is happening in the scene.

Does Lady Capulet understand why Juliet is so sad??

How does Lady Capulet refer to Romeo?

What is Juliets reaction to being told she is to marry Paris?

What reason does Juliet give for not wanting to marry Paris? What is the real reason?

What is Capulets attitude towards his daughter?

What does Capulet call his daughter

Should he speak to her like that??

Is this a normal way for a father to behave?

Have your parents ever wanted you to do something that you didnt want to do? What?

What happened?

Have you ever done something your parents didnt want you to do? What?


Fill the chart in to show the relationship that Juliet has with her parents and the nurse in act 1 scene 3, and in act 3
scene 5 lines 64-235

Juliet relationship with Act 1 scene 3

Act 3 scene 5 lines 64-235


Lady Capulet


Section 3 of your essay

Write about
How do Juliet and her mother get along in this scene?
(Use a quote to prove what you are saying)

How is this different to the first scene that we looked at?

(Find a quote from the 1st section to help show the difference)

What is Juliets father like?

(What kind of things does he call her, what would these be in modern day language?)

Is it ok for a father to act this way to his daughter?

(This is what you think, your own opinion)

How has the nurse changed?

(Does she really care about Juliet? use a quote to show if she cares or not))

And to conclude
Sum up your personal opinion of Juliets parents and her nurse?
Do you agree with the way they treat Juliet?